Tower of the Hand

Icon AFFC The Captain Of Guards

Book 4, Chapter 3.
Doran Martell meets with three of the Sand Snakes who want revenge for Oberyn's death and then orders Areo to take all the Sand Snakes into custody.
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Areo Hotah wheels Prince Doran Martell onto the terrace of the Water Gardens, where he watches the children splash in the fountains. After several hours, Obara Sand comes to see him, with Maester Caleotte trailing her and trying to stop her. Areo blocks her entrance, saying Doran does not wish to be disturbed. She asks if Doran knows that Oberyn is dead, and Areo states there was a bird. Obara says that thousands are crossing the Boneway to help Ellaria bring his body home. All over Dorne everyone is asking what Doran will do. Areo reiterates that the prince does not want to be disturbed, but Doran says to let her come forward. Prince Doran has two armies in the field. One, commanded by Lord Anders in the Boneway and the other in the Prince's Pass.1 Obara wants Doran to give her one and Nymeria the other so that Obara can sack Oldtown. Doran says he will think on it, and Obara stalks out angrily.

Caleotte asks if it is prudent to allow Obara to return to Sunspear, and Doran says he must return as well. Caleotte reminds him he will be seen, but Doran says he must attempt to settle the people even if his enemies may learn the extent of his gout. This will be Doran's first visit to Sunspear since departing for the Water Gardens two years ago; his gout was not nearly as bad then, and he could still walk slowly with a cane. Caleotte is especially concerned because Doran will need to grant Myrcella and Arys an audience and Arys reports to the queen. Areo thinks of Arys sadly; he feels the day that they must fight is approaching soon and that when it does, Areo will have to kill him. Doran says they will leave at first light. Doran asks Areo if he had brothers and sisters back in Norvos, and the guard captain responds he had two brothers and three sisters and he was the youngest. Because he was another unwanted mouth to feed and outgrew his clothes quickly, he was sold to the bearded priests. Doran laments that he was the oldest, yet he is the last. Mors and Olyvar both died in the cradle, and when he was nine and a squire at Salt Shore Elia was born a month premature, yet survived. A year later, Oberyn was born. Areo does not know how to respond, as he is a simple man who swore simple vows of "serve, protect, obey" when he wed his axe at sixteen. Doran watches the pools until long into the evening when he falls asleep. Areo returns him to his bed, sharpens his axe, and goes to sleep himself.

The next morning, Doran dawdles so that they do not get underway until midmorning. Areo, Caleotte, and twenty guards accompany him. Halfway to Sunspear, Nymeria Sand catches up with the party. She wants leave to take Tyene with her to King's Landing to assassinate Jaime, Cersei, Tywin, and Tommen as revenge for Oberyn, Elia, Aegon, and Rhaenys. Doran says they must wait and that Oberyn was too impatient. He was only supposed to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the throne and make what allies he could, but he could not wait. Nymeria says she does not mean to wait either and gallops off towards Sunspear. When they finally reach Sunspear and make their way to the Old Palace, a throng of people surrounds the litter calling out for vengeance for Oberyn. When they reach the Old Palace, they are greeted by Arianne and half the court, including the seneschal, Ricasso, the castellan, Ser Manfrey Martell, Maester Myles, twenty knights, and Myrcella with her septa, Eglantine, and Ser Arys. Arianne welcomes Doran and tells him Tyene Sand awaits him in the throne room for a private word.

Areo bears Doran to the throne room. Tyene wants Doran to crown Myrcella as the lawful Queen of Westeros, since she is older than Tommen and would inherit by Dornish law, and then bleed the Lannisters when they march south to depose her. Doran says he will think on it. Tyene insults him and then asks for his blessing, which he gives by touching her head, before leaving. When she is gone, Caleotte examines Doran's hand to make sure he was not poisoned and leaves to fetch Doran a small cup of milk of the poppy. When the maester is gone, Doran asks Areo if the guards are loyal, to which Areo responds in the affirmative. Doran orders him to seize all seven of Oberyn's daughters currently in Dorne.2 He would take Sarella too, but she is beyond his reach.3


Active Characters

  1. Arianne Martell - She is short with long black hair that falls to the small of her back.
  2. Caleotte - He is short and bald with a smooth fat face.
  3. Doran Martell - He is fifty-two and rendered lame by gout. His body is soft and shapeless while his knees and toes are red and swollen.
  4. Nymeria Sand - She is twenty-five and slender, with straight black hair that forms a widow's peak, dark eyes, high cheekbones, full lips, and pale skin. Her mother was a noble of Volantis
  5. Obara Sand - Eldest bastard daughter of Prince Oberyn Martell. Her mother was a whore in Oldtown. She is big-boned with close-set eyes and rat-brown hair. She is nearly thirty.
  6. Oberyn Martell - He was forty-two when he died.
  7. Tyene Sand - She has blond hair and blue eyes. Her mother was a septa.


  1. Norvos - Norvos has a high and a low city. There are three bells that ring in the city, Noom, Narrah, and Nyel. Once a year, a festival is held in which bears dance down the Sinner's Steps.
  2. Sunspear - Sunspear is topped by three towers. The tallest is the Spear Tower, which rises a hundred and fifty feet and is crowned by a spear of gilded steel thirty feet high. Next is the Tower of the Sun with a dome of gold and leaded glass. The smallest is the dun-colored Sandship. The castle is surrounded by the sea on three sides. A town of mud brick houses, shops, inns, winesinks, and pillows houses sprawls to the west of the castle. Three great walls encircle the city. The Threefold Gate is the only spot where one can pass straight through all three walls to the Old Palace.


Warning: Footnotes may contain spoilers from later chapters or books.